(LifeSiteNews) — The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced charges against eight pro-life activists for allegedly violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, also known as the FACE Act.
According to a press release issued by the DOJ Wednesday, Calvin Zastrow, Chester Gallagher, Heather Idoni, Caroline Davis, Joel Curry, Justin Phillips, Eva Edl, and Eva Zastrow apparently blocked the entrance of an abortion facility in Sterling Heights, Michigan, on August 27, 2020.
The department also announced that Idoni and Edl are being charged with obstructing the entrance of the Women’s Health Clinic in Saginaw, Michigan on April 16, 2021.
The FACE Act, which was signed into law by Democrat President Bill Clinton in 1994, makes it a crime to intimidate or physically prevent the coming and going of persons seeking the services of abortion clinics. The late Senator Edward Kennedy, a self-professed Catholic, was the chief sponsor of the legislation at the time.
The indictment comes just weeks after Mark Houck was found not guilty of violating the Act. Houck, a father of seven, gained nation-wide fame after the FBI raided his house with guns drawn while his wife and children were present, all because he defended his son from a vulgar pro-abortion “escort” outside a facility in Philadelphia. Conservatives denounced the agency’s behavior, which many said reflected a blatant targeting of pro-lifers under the Biden regime.
READ: Pro-life group alleges FBI informant infiltrated, secretly recorded their meeting
The FBI is planning to intensify its “assessment” and “mitigation” of “Radical Traditionalist Catholics” over the next 12 to 24 months according to an explosive document from a former agent turned whistleblower.
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The bombshell 8-page memo was released by former FBI agent Kyle Serpahin on his website UncoveredDC Wednesday. The report, written by an FBI analyst in Richmond, Virginia, was published for internal agency use only on January 23, is titled, “Interest of Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists in Radical-Traditionalist Catholic Ideology Almost Certainly Presents New Mitigation Opportunities.”
Seraphin describes the briefing as an “intelligence product” that, though not being exhaustive, can be used as an initial reference point for the agency to “prop up” future investigations on the subject. He says he obtained the document from an anonymous Baptist employee for the agency.
“This is the first FBI Richmond domain product to focus on the interest of racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists in the Radical Traditional Catholic movement,” the document states. “A search of FBI databases indicates this is also the first FBI finished intelligence product to specifically address this environmental variable.”
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Among the most controversial aspects of the memo is that it directly cites a defamatory study conducted by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on the subject “Radical Traditional Catholicism.” The SPLC has long been rejected as a legitimate resource for the FBI, Seraphin says, but in this instance, it is being relied on as a primary source to justify its efforts. The memo also references three anti-Catholic smear articles (here, here, and here) published by leftwing websites Salon and The Atlantic to defend its monitoring.
The report alleges that its real motivation is a concern that “Radical Traditionalist Catholic Ideology” possesses an “anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT, and white supremacy” outlook, and that this presents a threat to the US’s domestic well-being. The report further claims that adherents to RTC ideology “frequently share language and symbolism, such as crusader references or anti-Semitic discourses” online that pro-life white nationalists also support.
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FBI whistleblower releases docs showing agents are surveilling "Radical" Traditional Catholics in Virginia
In its report, the DOJ stated that the defendants promoted the blockade on social media, and that they shared a live video feed as it was happening. According to the indictment, which can be read here, activist Joel Curry said, “We’re in Sterling Heights, outside of the murder mill, to save children.” Eva Edl also reportedly told police, “You can arrest us, you can do whatever you want, I will be back, wherever there is a clinic open.” At least one woman is alleged to have been unable to enter the facility.
Together, the defendants have been charged with conspiring to “oppress and intimidate patients and employees … in the free exercise and enjoyment of the rights and privileges secured to them by the laws of the United States, namely, the rights to obtain and seek to obtain, and to provide and seek to provide, reproductive health services.” The FBI Detroit Field Office and Bay City Resident Agency investigated the case, the DOJ announced. The agency’s Civil Rights Division is prosecuting the case, in conjunction with the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan.
Two weeks ago, Republican Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio held the first hearing for the select House committee on the “weaponization” of the FBI. Pro-lifers and conservatives have long argued that the agency has been purposefully persecuting Christians while ignoring real corruption, like Hunter Biden’s ties to China and Ukraine. A growing number of Catholics are also calling on the agency to be held to account after a memo leaked to the public earlier this month revealed the bureau’s Richmond, Virginia office has been monitoring laity who attend the Traditional Latin Mass.
WATCH: US bishop praises Mark Houck for working to ‘change hearts’ after pro-life victory over DOJ